Blackout Movie Review: An exhausting dark comedy

Blackout Movie Review: An exhausting dark comedy

Scene after scene, in this dialogue-heavy stream, jokes never land and the plot remains shallow
Blackout (1.5 / 5)

There are many things that Vikrant Massey’s Blackout tries in order to become a dark comedy. It begins with an intense, rain drenched image of crime journalist Lenny D’souza, played by Vikrant, as he holds a gun to someone and says, “The end”. A moment of meta-awareness, one would say, and smart even. Yet, the wit stops here. The film becomes a study in unbecoming. Scene after scene, in this dialogue-heavy stream, jokes never land and the plot remains shallow. What does it all even mean?

It means that when in doubt, gag it out. Writer-director Devang Shashin Bhavsar creates haphazard moments of humour. Far from inducing laughter, the scenes exhaust you with their over-the-top appeal. All of it feels spoofy and inspired from short sketches on Instagram reels. It is no coincidence that it features two popular Instagram influencers, Karan Sonawane and Saurabh Ghadge, who are known for making comic reels on their social media pages. At various points, it felt as if they were given a freehand to direct a scene as they do in their reels. As a result, there are random jokes pitted in the middle of the plot that come out of nowhere. Sitting in the backseat of the car along with a random stranger, Shruti Mehra (Mouni Roy), the two resort to make crude statements and touching her inappropriately. Such desperation to milk laughs only ends up creating a feeling of disgust. The tone of the scene makes it more disturbing to watch.  

Directed by: Devang Shashin Bhavsar

Cast: Vikrant Massey, Mouni Roy, Sunil Grover, Jisshu Sengupta, Karan Sudhakar Sonawane, Saurabh Dilip Ghadge, Ruhani Sharma, Anantvijay Joshi, Prasad Oak, Chhaya Raghunath Kadam, Sooraj Pops, Kelly Dorji

It is surprising that the film has to resort to such cheap thrills when it has a logline that can lend in natural humour. It tells the story of Lenny whose car rams into a van of escaping robbers and he chances upon bags full of gold, only to get entangled in more mis-happenings through the course of a night. He is joined by a drunkard, played by Sunil Grover, who blackmails him for single-malt whiskey and cash. The script doesn’t know what to make of these situations and merely introduces newer conflicts without resolving anything. Characters die and resurrect at the whim of the plot. Classic songs play in the background to underline the gravity of certain situations and an untimely flashback about Sunil’s character takes the film into a completely new territory. By this time, it is too convoluted to become anything, hence, it chooses to be louder and crazier. Seasoned performers like Vikrant and Sunil try to tickle our funny bones amidst rising impatience. Nothing stands out in their performance due to the narrative blunders and an arbitrary appearance by the inimitable Chhaya Kadam is not enough to save the day (or night).

The film also doesn’t exactly live up to its title. There is indeed a blackout which takes place in the beginning, spreading a black blanket over the city. I was rooting to witness a story taking place completely during a blackout. Soon though, the lights come up on their own. What looked like a major conflict became just a fleeting moment. Why was it still named so? Watching it fall flat, you crave for a blackout. Too sad that it never comes.

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